OpenHand’s first shop came into existence in 1999. Its bright green and blue walls were covered in vibrant scarves, bed covers as well as silk items, the same hand woven silk Varanasi has been famous for over hundreds of years. Being part of the old silk trade route as well as being on the historic Grand Trunk Road put Varanasi on the map for its lovely silk ranges: raw silk, dupion, cotton silk, zari work, tussar silk, cut work, embroidery and all of the finest silks one can imagine.
OpenHand may have brought some of the first real espresso based coffees to Varanasi (possibly to the whole state?) and our first café was opened in 2001. We served two cakes of the day every day which was a slow and humble beginning. The café was expanded every year and grew stronger as it became more popular.
Today it is a haven for tourists, pilgrims and visitors to the Old City. Beautiful products which are for sale line the walls of the café and represent local craftsmanship as well as products from all over India.
The pride of the shop are the product lines made by our in-house manufacturing unit in New Delhi as well as those products made by affiliate projects.
Today we add to our list of firsts one of the highest in altitude and most remote espresso based coffees served on the planet. Leh-Ladakh is accessible from two roads only or by air and being in the heart of the Himalayas at high altitude snows in every year for a number of months. Welcome to OpenHand Espresso Bar & Bistro Leh!
Come and get high on caffeine!